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 CTO.org - News Archive - April 12, 2018
A multibillion dollar fine will cost Google money, but it'll leave intact the tech giant's services on phones, like search and maps, Reuters says.

Mozilla makes a privacy-protecting option the new default for its web browser running on iOS devices.

The classifieds site has been likened to an online brothel.

The former executive, whose father co-founded the chipmaker, reportedly is talking to strategic investors, including Arm, to take Qualcomm private in the next two months.

Google Go reduces the amount of data needed to display search results by 40 percent.

Ready to have your mind blown? The Last Jedi contains a neat throwback to A New Hope, whether planned or coincidence.

LG will unveil the G7 on May 2. Here what's confirmed and rumored about the company's new flagship phone.

Bill aims to give Americans more control over their online data, including disabling tracking and collection.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, citing concerns over violating the First Amendment, denies a request from Senate Democrats to investigate Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Alternative powertrains are still on the table for the future, according to Lexus' chief engineer.

A cryptic crater on Mars continues to baffle in a new set of images from ESA's Mars Express spacecraft.

Home8's $100 ActionView Garage Door Control System includes a camera, hub and garage door controller for remote access and garage door smarts at the push of a button.

The actor chatted live from Earth with International Space Station astronaut Drew Feustel of NASA about everything from bathrooms to sex in space.

Want to see season 2 of the series about the creepy android-populated theme park? Hulu wants you to tune in with its streaming video service.

Tesla claimed that it left the investigation before being booted, but the NTSB's statement tells a different story.

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One of the great things about R is the thousands of packages users have written to solve specific problems in various disciplines -- analyzing everything from weather or financial data to the human genome -- not to mention analyzing computer security-breach data.

Some tasks are common to almost all users, though, regardless of subject area: data import, data wrangling and data visualization. The table below show my favorite go-to packages for one of these three tasks (plus a few miscellaneous ones tossed in). The package names in the table are clickable if you want more information. To find out more about a package once you've installed it, type help(package = "packagename") in your R console (of course substituting the actual package name ).


What a long, strange trip it's been.

From its inaugural release to today, Android has transformed visually, conceptually and functionally '-” time and time again. Google's mobile operating system may have started out scrappy, but holy moly, has it ever evolved.

Here's a fast-paced tour of Android version highlights from the platform's birth to present.

Android versions 1.0 to 1.1: The early days

Android made its official public debut in 2008 with Android 1.0 '-” a release so ancient it didn't even have a cute codename.

Things were pretty basic back then, but the software did include a suite of early Google apps like Gmail, Maps, Calendar and YouTube, all of which were integrated into the operating system '-” a stark contrast to the more easily updatable standalone-app model employed today.


By my calculations, seeing this morning's news that LG is opening up a "Software Upgrade Center" '-” the industry's "first such facility aimed at providing customers worldwide with faster, timelier smartphone operating system and software updates" (!) '-” could result in three distinct reactions.

First is the woefully uninformed, overly positive reception '-” the one LG clearly hopes to elicit with its over-the-top press release: "Whoa! Look at LG! It's breaking new ground and showing just how committed to customers it really is."


With all of the problems in the January, February and March patches for Windows and Office, you'-™d think we would catch a break in April. In one sense we did '-” some of the worst bugs in the earlier patches now seem to be behind us. But we'-™re definitely not out of the woods just yet.


Consultant pilot fish gets a panicked call from a client: "Everything was working fine. We went into a meeting, and when we came out, nothing worked. We couldn't access the Internet or the server, nor use our VoIP phones."

Fish arrives on site and, sure enough, the network is completely down -- nothing's working. He checks one more time with the client, who repeats that all anyone did was go into a meeting.

"After futzing with the switches and routers, the owner saw me moving some cables," says fish. "I was connecting my laptop directly to the router, where it worked fine.

"He said, 'Oh yeah, I did do something in the conference room. I connected a wire to a jack.'"


File management isn'-™t the sexiest area of smartphone ownership '-” but if you use your device for productivity, it'-™s an important subject to consider.

Your phone, after all, is your on-the-go connection to the world. It'-™s basically the new PC. And whether your work involves presentations, PDFs, Word documents or images, you'-™re bound to find yourself fumbling around with files on your pocket-sized screen sooner or later.

With the right tools, though, dealing with files from your phone doesn'-™t have to be a hassle. And the good news? Android'-™s got plenty of outstanding options.

These are the best, organized by what they'-™ll help you accomplish.


Mac users running the recently released macOS 10.13.4 update may see a new alert message when they log in and launch apps this morning, as Apple begins keeping its WWDC promise to push developers to upgrade their apps to 64-bit.

What is this alert?

Starting around midnight local time April 11 and 12, Macs running the latest OS version begin offering up a warning message the first time their users launched a 32-bit application.

macos high sierra 32 bit app alert Apple

32-bit app alerts are coming to macOS 10.13.4.


T-Mobile USA and Sprint have been talking about merging several times over the last several years, but they never actually make it happen. Word is that they are at it once again. So, will they have any more luck this time pulling off a merger? If you were an odds-maker, what would you say the chances are of this merger happening?

Well, some things have changed, both in the wireless industry and with the two companies themselves. So, perhaps this time around they can come to terms. If they can, that'-™s great, but that'-™s only stage one. Stage two, they would still need to convince regulators to approve the merger. So, the T-Mobile, Sprint merger still has two big mountains to climb.


Most of us expected Microsoft to drop its latest and greatest version of the last version of Windows yesterday. The highly anticipated version 1803, Redstone 4 '-” which many of us have been testing for weeks '-” looked ready to go '-¦ until it wasn'-™t.

Rumors are flying but, as of this writing, the actual cause for the delay isn'-™t public.

Microsoft, of course, has never committed to a release date. Or a build number. Or even a hokey '-'Spring after Fall Creators Update'-" style name, for that matter. (I'-™m still plugging for '-'Terry Myerson Swansong version'-" but doubt it'-™ll gain traction.)


Relative to health-focused innovations across history, iOS, iPhones, iPads and other mobile devices are very recent additions to the medical care arsenal, but they seem to be good for you, fresh research claims.

Mobile" solutions boost patient satisfaction

Apple has been investing deeply in mobile healthcare. A global survey published today suggests that investment is not misplaced. It shows that hospitals that have put mobile device initiatives in place see an instant improvement in patient satisfaction.


Since becoming generally available in March, Apple's new Health Record mobile patient health record aggregator has generally won praise from two hospitals that beta tested the app.

After touting the" electronic medical record (EMR) feature in its iOS 11.3 release, Apple said that '-" as of last week '-"" 39 hospitals have signed up to test the software, which will allow patients and healthcare providers to interact on iPhones and iPads. Officials at two of those institutions, Johns Hopkins and Penn Medicine, see promise in how the field is evolving.


Pilot fish handles anything that has to do with computers for this family-run business, which provides business services for large public events -- one of which has a large problem.

"Days before a big ticketed event, I got a memo from a co-worker that the upcoming event was gone from the company's central database system," fish says. "Despite being out sick that day, I called in and conferenced the coworker and her supervisor, who's a member of the ruling family.

"While on the call, I saw that other events were missing from the system as well. I advised that the best procedure will be to restore from a recent hourly backup, which would require some minimal downtime to complete."


Microsoft never sleeps. Even before the" Windows 10 Fall Creators Update" was rolled out, the company began work on the next major update to Windows 10, code-named Redstone 4. As it did with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft has been releasing a series of public preview builds to" members of Microsoft's Insider Program.


Slack has unveiled a raft of new security and compliance features aimed at boosting the appeal of its Enterprise Grid product among IT leaders and admins.

While Slack has tended to be adopted on a team-by-team basis, Enterprise Grid offers centralized management of the team chat application on a company-wide basis and supports up to 500,000 users.

A year after its launch, Enterprise Grid has been deployed by 150 businesses globally. The largest deployment is IBM, which has more than 110,000 daily active users. There are several other Enterprise Grid customers with between"  50,000 and 100,000 daily users.


It was six months ago to this day that I declared it: The Chromebook is effectively the new Android tablet.

At the time, I realize, such a proclamation sounded slightly unhinged (so to speak). How could a Chromebook possibly take over the role of the Android tablet? It doesn't run Android, for one '-” and at that point, no models in existence were even true "tablets" in the traditional slate-and-nothing-more sense.

The secret some folks saw along with me, though, was that neither of those distinctions actually mattered. We're entering a post-OS era, and the practical difference between a Chrome OS device that runs Android apps and an Android device that runs Android apps is growing less significant by the week. And as for the physical form, anyone who had used a convertible Chromebook '-” a product like the Asus Chromebook Flip, whose hinge allows the screen to swivel back and form a flattened-out tablet '-” knew exactly what I was getting at.


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BYTE is starting a new series, to bring back the issues you loved in print from 1975 to 1998. Initially we have the first two issues and four others from 1984, 1985 and 1986.

Security experts urge companies to implement two-factor authentication, VPNs, and graduated permission levels to better protect customer data from hackers.

Microsoft admits that it doesn't encrypt all server-to-server communications, opening the way for the NSA and others to access the data flow.

Affordable Care Act site has faced a relatively low volume of attacks, compared with other federal websites.

Google's Gmail app for iPad and iPhone gets new features and iOS 7's design language.

Amazon CTO Werner Vogels announces PostgreSQL database service, new instance types, use of solid state disk to speed I/Os.

As software eclipses hardware, it's dawning on enterprises that they need API programs. Here's where to begin.

Authors Guild's claim of copyright infringement gets shot down in a surprise ruling.

The goal is allow home monitoring devices and mobile health apps communicate more easily healthcare providers.

Google's personal assistant software gets upgraded to better manage owners' lives and understand natural language requests.

Android smartphones owners can now pay for goods and services by tapping their device to Isis terminals at 1.3 million locations nationwide.

LinkedIn pushes customized content with the integration of news curation app Pulse for desktop and mobile versions.

Hacker grabbed 860,000 passwords for fun, but promises not to leak or use them to harm people.

VMware wants to move into cloud computing? Guess what, Amazon's moving into desktop virtualization.

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CES 2018 had more than its fair share of wacky items and compelling gadgets, but one of the biggest trends to emerge, once again, from the popular tech expo was voice-enabled devices. And, of course, it was all about Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.



Here are seven items at CES 2018, some of which address legitimate use cases and some of which may be closer to mad-scientist territory.



At CES 2018, Sennheiser announced two new products that focus on recording or playing back 3-D audio.



Honda wants to change your perception of robots. And it's hoping to do so with four new concept robots.



At CES 2018, Ford announced it is working with a city in which it will operate its self-driving cars. The automaker wouldn't identify the city but did say how autonomous vehicles can change the way people live.



Intel is betting that Volocopter 2X will be one of the first passenger-carrying drones to operate in the U.S. A prototype of the pilotless two-seat helicopter-like drone was shown off at CES 2018 in Las Vegas.



AMD CEO Lisa Su told Yahoo Finance that the Austin, Texas-based computer and graphics chip company is quickly working to resolve and address a recently-discovered security flaw that affects AMD computer chips.



Nvidia rolled out a slew of updates for its GeForce line of gaming products at CES 2018 including massive computer screens and cloud game streaming.



It's hard to figure out which of the connected household devices on display at CES 2018 is worth buying, but it's even more difficult to know if they are secure from hackers. A security expert visits exhibits and tries to help.



Nicomi Stewart, a mother in Rochester, New York, is '-'disgusted'-" after an automated call sent to her phone from the city'-™s school district mispronounced her daughter'-™s name as a racial slur.



You may soon get to say a lot more on Twitter. The social media giant announced it is testing a longer character limit. The change will extend the current 140 characters to 280 for all languages except Japanese, Chinese and Korean. Users won'-™t see this change right away, though. Only a small percentage will be testing it at first, and according to the company, it is just a test and there is no guarantee this change will be available to everyone. Via Business Insider:" http://www.businessinsider. ...



Mac OS High Sierra (macOS 10.13)." As the new name suggests, it'-™s just a refinement of last year'-™s Mac OS Sierra. In fact," you" could sum up what's new in an article about as short as" this one.



Want to add some cool sound effects or music to your YouTube video (or any video)?



Apple is expected to include wireless charging as a core feature in the iPhones it launches on...



Apple's 10th anniversary iPhone is nearly upon us. Here's everything we expect from what could be Apple's most important product in years.



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